1 Samuel 17:4

1 Samuel 17:4

And there went out a champion out of the camp of the
Or a "middle person", or a man "between two" F25; meaning either one that went and stood between the two armies of Israel and the Philistines, as the Jewish writers generally interpret it: or a "dueller" F26, as others, with which our version agrees; one that proposed to fight a duel, and have the war decided by two persons, of which he would be one:

named Goliath of Gath;
which was one of the places where the Anakims or giants were driven, and left, in the times of Joshua, and from whom this man descended, ( Joshua 11:22 )

whose height was six cubits and a span;
and taking a cubit after the calculation of Bishop Cumberland F1 to be twenty one inches, and more, and a span to be half a cubit, the height of this man was eleven feet four inches, and somewhat more; which need not seem incredible, since the coffin of Orestea, the son of Agamemnon, is said F2 to be seven cubits long; and Eleazar, a Jew, who because of his size was called the giant, and was presented by Artabanus, king of the Parthians, to Tiberius Caesar, is said by Josephus F3 to be seven cubits high; and one Gabbara of Arabia, in the times of Claudius Caesar, measured nine feet nine inches, as Pliny F4 relates, and who elsewhere F5 speaks of a people in Ethiopia, called Syrbotae, who were eight cubits high; the Septuagint version makes Goliath to be only four cubits and a span high, and so Josephus F6; that is, about eight feet.


F25 (Mynybh vya) "vir intermedius", Montanus; "inter duo", Vatablus; "vir medietatum", Noldius, p. 194. No. 283.
F26 "Quidam duellator", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F1 Of Scripture Weights and Measures, c. 2. p. 57.
F2 Herodot. Clio, sive, l. 1. c. 68. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 7. c. 16.
F3 Antiqu. l. 18. c. 5. sect. 5.
F4 Nat. Hist. ib.
F5 Ibid. l. 6. 30.
F6 Antiqu. l. 6. c. 9. sect. 1.